VFS Global to accept visa applications only via appointment

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on July 01, 2020 Published on July 01, 2020

Visa Facilitation Services (VFS) Global will now accept visa applications only via appointment. VFS has been able to restart its services for 18 destinations out of 51 as of July 1.

A virtual press conference held by VFS Global on Wednesday said that visa applications would resume for specific visa categories for Belarus, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Portugal, South Korea, Turkey, UAE, and United Kingdom, among others.

Pranav Sinha, Regional Head (West & South India, Maldives and Sri Lanka), VFS Global, said, “While we are yet not in the post-covid era, we just have to deal with the new normal. In order to make sure that we follow all the mandatory steps, we are also making appointments for visa applications mandatory because we do not want clients to come to the center and wait.”

As far as the application process is concerned, VFS said that the customers will have to book their applications online on the VFS Global portal. “After specific approvals from Embassies/Consulates and as well as from local authorities, VFS Global’s centres will accept visa applications for select countries and visa categories in specific cities,” it said in a statement.

When asked whether there will be an increase in visa application fees, Amit Kumar Sharma, Regional Head (North&East India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Israel, Nepal,and Palestine), VFS Global, said that the fees are dynamic for each country at any given time, “however, as of now, we haven’t seen an increase in costs, but again, that may change in the future.”

VFS Global has handled six million applications in 2019 from 51 centers. One of the common concerns by applicants is whether they will get to travel after getting an approved visa, VFS said: “Outbound international commercial flights have not yet resumed as of July 1. It is subject to change at any time according to guidelines of the respective destination governments, as well as lockdown status in various states of India.”

Sinha added that, currently, only a handful of repatriation flights are operating and once the international flights start, and as per the regulations of the concerned governments, applicants can fly.

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Published on July 01, 2020
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